A ball hawking defense helped lead the Douglas High JV girls basketball team to a 36-18 victory at home on Friday against the Sierra Lutheran varsity.
Douglas (5-2 overall, 1-1 league) forced 38 turnovers and limited Sierra Lutheran (2-3) to 8-for-27 shooting from the field.
“This was by far the best defense we had played yet this year,” Douglas coach David Pfaffenberger said. “Our press was outstanding and forced several turnovers and (led to) points.”
A 15-3 run through the second quarter put Douglas (5-2) in charge of the contest. The Tigers led 19-7 at halftime.
“I thought our girls did a very good job of handling the full court pressure in the first quarter,” seventh-year Sierra Lutheran coach Michael Nelson said. “We got rattled with a few turnovers early in the second that Douglas capitalized on. We also did not do a very good job of containing Howe.”
Chandler Howe led all scorers with 14 points. Genevieve Stodieck-Deyer contributed 8 points, Kayleigh Carlson 4 while Terra Williams and Sarah Carter added 3 each. Howe turned in a strong rebounding performance and Carlson created numerous opportunities on the offensive end with her passing, Pfaffenberger pointed out.
“The girls played a great game,” Pfaffenberger said. “They were very disciplined and ran their half course offense the best Keri (Moss, assistant coach) and I have seen all year.”
Cali Benton had 7 points and 6 rebounds to lead Sierra Lutheran. Sabrina Ronato also scored 6 points, Amy Westre 3 and Katy Cobb 2 for the Falcons.
“Sierra Lutheran has some very talented players and are well coached,” Pfaffenberger said. “It’s always great to play them, as they have a great program and will make you focus as a team and a coaching staff.”
Sierra Lutheran travels to Hawthorne on Friday for a league game against defending Western Division IV champion Mineral County.
Nelson believes the challenging preseason schedule, including games played one week before at the Forest Lake Christmas Classic in Auburn, Calif., will bring benefits down the road.
“I really do believe playing a bigger school like Douglas as well as the bigger schools in California help to prepare us for teams like Mineral County who have a long tradition of basketball excellence,” he said. “It will be a tough opener on Friday, but we will be prepared.”
The Douglas JV club plays league rival Galena on Friday at 3:30 p.m., followed by a 5:15 p.m. contest on Saturday at South Tahoe.
“Our team is getting better every game and learning how to play together as a team,” Pfaffenberger said.